6 Hilarious Failures Celebrities Want You to Forget

The great thing about pop culture is that you usually know what to expect from it. As surely as the sun rises each day, Quentin Tarantino will direct a bloody, profanity-ridden foot fetish film, Alan Moore will write disturbing magical monster erotica, and Bruce Willis will play a relatable dude you should not under any circumstances fuck with. All is right with the world. But now and again, somebody doesn't play by the rules, and everything we understand about the universe is thrown into question. Like the time ...

#6. Arnold Schwarzenegger Directed a Made-for-TV Christmas Special

Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Famous Person:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for his uber-masculine roles in The Terminator, Commando, Predator, and basically anything else where a gun makes passionate love to an explosion. He is the exact opposite of the guy you'd want to direct your silly, feel-good holiday movie. Dude wouldn't teach the Grinch to love; he'd shove a grenade in his mouth and walk away while it blew.

The Out-of-Character Credit:

In 1992, Arnold Schwarzenegger directed a made-for-TV romantic comedy titled Christmas in Connecticut for reasons that cannot be scientifically explained.

Dead Hooker Blackmail is the 3-1 favorite over Cocaine at 5-1.

Christmas in Connecticut was the TNT-funded remake of the 1945 version, with Dyan Cannon as a cooking show host who befriends forest ranger Kris Kristofferson after he heroically rescues a boy from a blizzard. Cannon's manager then decides to capitalize on the publicity by having her host a live TV special where she will prepare a Christmas dinner for Kristofferson.

Unfortunately, in spite of hosting a cooking show, Cannon cannot actually cook, and since she is apparently a cold and unforgiving monster, she also has to hire people to pretend to be her family. You know where this is going: blah blah wacky misunderstanding, emotional confession, Christmas spirit, and Cannon and Kristofferson fall in love. The holidays, everybody!

The porn parody uses the exact same cover.

Everybody takes some odd jobs at the start of their career, but this wasn't early '80s Schwarzenegger -- this immediately followed Terminator 2. That movie made all of the dollars. We had to go back and print more just to give them directly to Schwarzenegger every time he flashed a tragic thumbs-up. Hollywood would have let Arnold direct and star in every role in Schindler's List if he had asked nicely. There is no reason he would agree to do this project, aside from an intense passion for WASP-y Christmas films, or perhaps to force himself to learn to say the word "Connecticut."

#5. Neil Gaiman's First Book Was a Biography of Duran Duran

Darryl James/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Famous Person:

Neil Gaiman is a geek demigod. He's the creator of The Sandman comics, as well as an entire asylum full of dark fantasy novels that combine fairy tales, mythology, and the twisted imagination of a man who looks like Professor Snape's illegitimate son. The only reason he's not Tim Burton is because Tim Burton called dibs on "Tim Burton" first.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"That son of a bitch did the same thing to me the first time we saw Helena Bonham Carter."

The Out-of-Character Credit:

Early in his career, when Gaiman was just trying to get published to put ramen in the cupboard, he was given the opportunity to write a book about rock music. How cool is that? Of course Gaiman said he'd love to write about some hip, sexy rock band -- maybe the Velvet Underground? The publishers laughed and laughed. Apparently the sarcastic air quotes around "rock music" didn't come across over the phone. He was given a choice between writing his "rock book" about Barry Manilow, Def Leppard, or Duran Duran. He opted for the last one, because he had to live with himself afterward.

Proteus Publishing Co.
Hungry like the guy who's a week late with his rent.

In 1984, Neil Gaiman, the impending god-emperor of sexy, literate semi-goths, documented the rise of a synth-pop band in a biography titled Duran Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five. For the sake of his future dignity, we hope he never had to repeat that title aloud. As his success in the literary field skyrocketed, Gaiman initially tried to conceal what his debut published book was, for incredibly obvious reasons. Eventually he admitted to it in a 2010 interview, since by then he had collected enough frilly black panties to build his own floating island.

#4. John Grisham Wrote the Plot of Christmas With the Kranks

Columbia Pictures

The Famous Person:

John Grisham's fast-paced legal thrillers like The Firm, The Client, and The Pelican Brief still make up roughly 60 percent of all airport bookstore sales around the world. What you are less likely to find there is Grisham's 2001 novel Skipping Christmas, which became the basis for the 2004 "comedy" film Christmas With the Kranks. Funny, we must have been in the bathroom when Tim Allen's corrupt law firm framed him for murdering a prostitute.

"Dead hookers worked on Schwarzenegger. It'll work on you."

The Out-of-Character Credit:

Christmas With the Kranks stars Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis as Luther and Nora Krank, a couple who feel depressed that their daughter is not going to be home for Christmas, so they decide they're going to spend the holidays on a cruise instead. This draws the wrath of their psychotic neighbors (led by Dan Aykroyd), who are aghast at the Kranks' decision not to decorate their house and stay home like everybody else. By the end of the film, the Kranks decide to celebrate Christmas after all, because blah blah wacky misunderstanding, emotional confession, and Christmas spirit again.

Columbia Pictures
Luther gets really into stocking stuffers.

Christmas With the Kranks' questionable Yuletide message did not go over well with critics, as the film currently holds a 5 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes. When you watch a Grisham adaptation, you expect to see Tom Cruise strangling a corporate hit man in a parking garage, not Tim Allen strangling the abstract concept of comedy on a dining room table.

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